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2022/23 Season News

Supporters Meeting At Central Park


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Supporters Meeting At Central Park

PostedApril 7, 2023

Cowdenbeath FC – Supporters Meeting at Central Park – Tuesday 18th April 2023 @ 7pm

All supporters are invited to the above meeting. More details are provided below in the message from our Chairman. We can only reinforce the message therein re the importance of this meeting as regards the future direction of your club. Please make every effort to come along if you can. We apologise for the relatively short notice but your involvement is vital as we look to shape the way ahead. If you cannot make it in person, Zoom access can be arranged on request – so please revert via e-mail (office@cowdenbeathfc.com) or phone (01383 610166) if you wish to avail yourself of this facility - link details will then be provided to you.




MESSAGE FROM CHAIRMAN

I am writing to you on behalf of the Board ahead of a Supporters meeting on 18th April.

Recent seasons have been difficult for the Club and the relegation to the Lowland League was a bitter pill to swallow. I believe that this is a critical time for the Club. Two crucial areas require immediate attention – financial stability and succession planning.

This relegation has placed a considerable financial strain on the Club. Prize money is reduced, gate income is reduced, crowd numbers are down and costs, of course are increased. That follows on from the hammer blow some years back of losing ownership of Central Park and the attendant loss of the stock car and other rental income – in 1989 stock car racing was re-introduced at Central Park as the then Board did not believe the Club could survive without income from that source.

Over the years, the Directors and a small group of other people have contributed a good deal of their own money. This cannot go on indefinitely. Such an approach to funding is neither viable nor sustainable. The recent online survey undertaken on behalf of the Club had 207 respondents to the question ‘how important is it for you for the Club to play in a higher league’? 86% of those surveyed said it was very important or important. It is the desire and determination of the Board to seek a return to the SPFL.

As the season has gone on, various building blocks have been put in place at Central Park. Much time and planning has gone into identifying potential player recruits. It is therefore vital that we obtain a FRESH source of funding in both the short and longer term. While the Board recognises that everyone faces financial pressures at the present time, the following plan is presented as a means of beginning to address both of the issues highlighted in my introduction.

As majority shareholder, I will make available a tranche of shares which I will transfer to a new entity which will be established, namely a Supporters’ Trust. I intend that this initial shareholding will be significant and will amount to 20% of the total shareholding. Over time it is hoped that this will become the vehicle to secure the ownership succession of the club with future tranches of shares potentially being transferred to the Trust based on agreed triggers and timings. In time the Trust could then potentially become the majority shareholder - a situation that prevails currently at 7 SPFL clubs. The Trust will have its own structures and procedures and will be independent of the Club. I would also intend that the Trust should nominate two of its number to serve as Directors of the Club. On April 3rd, at Central Park, this proposal was put to the shareholders of Cowdenbeath FC and those present were unanimous in their support for this way forward. Contact has already been initiated with Supporters Direct, the organization which assists in the setting up of Supporters Trusts in Scotland, and I would anticipate that we can provide more detail on the 18th.

Trust membership would operate on a one member one vote system. The amount of a membership subscription which may be on a tiered basis will be set by the Trust – with a key aim being fund raising for the club and its playing budget. Such a commitment to assist in funding the club would provide a more sustainable and competitive model going forward and allow us a more reasonable prospect of access to the stronger finances available in the SPFL.

I stress, that these must be NEW funds. I appreciate that supporters, like all the board members, may have signed up for the lottery, Roof Fall Fund, etc. Candidly, there is no benefit to the Club in just redirecting these funds to the Trust. That would not be not new money. It would be recycled money. These existing schemes will carry on as they continue to play a vital role.

I would propose that the Fund Raising aspect of the Trust be named in memory of Zoe Smith who contributed so much to the Club she grew to love and would have relished the challenge described in this letter. I would also highlight to you what can be achieved by fans working together, namely the examples of the Foundation of Hearts (Heart of Midlothian) and Lifeline (Dunfermline Athletic).

I look forward to meeting with you.

Donald R Findlay
Chairman – Cowdenbeath FC

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